FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — Rental properties in the city of Frederick are being held to new maintenance standards. The violations of not meeting the requirements could be costly.

The city says the benefits of these new minimum maintenance standards ensure that tenants have safe housing.

In a recent meeting with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the board passed a measure to ensure landlords keep their properties up to a certain standard.

Dina Naylor-Everston said she has lived in rentals for most of her life. One of the units she lived in had mold in the basement, which sent her to the hospital.

“I have had a snake in my unit. I have had mice in my unit. I have had spiders in my unit. I went back down in the basement again and I saw the same spot again, come to find out I was told after they came in and inspected, they just painted over it (mold). They didn’t try to get rid of it,” said Naylor-Everston.

The minimum maintenance standards will require property owners to repair and eliminate conditions including (but not limited to):

  • Lack of heat, light, electricity or hot or cold running water, except for when a tenant is responsible to pay the utilities and results in the tenant’s failure to pay
  • Lack of adequate sewage disposal facilities
  • Infestation of rodents
  • Structural damage that could cause harm to the tenant
  • Conditions that present a health or fire hazard

In a statement to DC News Now, the mayor of Frederick, Michael O’Connor, wrote: “The approval of the maintenance standards by the board is one step in the rental licensing work group’s efforts to continue building toward the successful implementation of the ordinance passed by the board earlier this year. This ordinance and the subsequent work being done by the work group will benefit tenants by ensuring they have a path to safe housing.”

If a landlord does not meet the minimum requirements they could lose their license or face fines of up to $1,000.

It’s not clear if rent will increase, but the city is going to monitor what happens to rent prices after this is implemented.

Registration begins on January 1, 2024.